Unfortunately for Kevin, the Grand Vizier is not only cruel, but also creative. As Kevin faces an excruciating painful death, he still refuses to talk.
Early-1950s examples of Kevin the Bold episodes from the Chicago Tribune have wonderful color reproduction and especially vivid colors, and make for fantastic-looking comics. However, there seems to be another factor influencing the appearance of these beauties, which is only readily apparent upon seeing the original comic artwork.
The Grand Rapids Public Library has a substantial number of Collins’ original comics illustrations, but there are relatively few examples of Kevin in their collection. They have about 41 of the 99 original Mitzi McCoy comics, at least 73 of 174 Up Anchor! comics, but only about 19 of the approximately 944 Kevin the Bold originals. However, one of the episodes that is there is the July 15, 1951 episode, shown above (and below).
Looking at the original artwork, notice that some of the lines were drawn in a lighter color—I’d guess Collins watered down his India ink slightly. This causes the illustrations to have a softer appearance, and gives them a quality of atmospheric perspective (most notable in the first panel). The Grand Rapids Public Library’s collection of Kreigh Collins’ works is accessible to the public. If you’re in West Michigan, I strongly recommend a visit to the Library’s Local History Department.
While things looked especially grim for Kevin, the Grand Vizier made the classic bad guy mistake of planning an overly elaborate and exotic death for his nemesis. As Kevin bolts and leaps to his freedom, the region is freed of a sadistic tyrant.
As Stub and Patch devise a way to return and save Kevin, the sequence ends with a chance encounter off the coast of Morocco—another beautiful, cinematic episode.
For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.
One thought on “Turnabout”
A great finale to one of the best sequences in this strip! I wonder if KC was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” when he wrote this storyline? It has a similar grisly vibe.
The opening panel of the 7/15/51 strip, with that delicate pen work, is really impressive and adds a lot to the atmosphere of the story. Great stuff!
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